John F. Kennedy

Youree Choi

Election of kennedy

Election of 1960

  • Democratic Party with Lyndon B.Johnson as VP nominee

  • Republican candidate with Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
  • Kennedy was framed because he was a Catholic
  • Importance of Television : visual image impacted on debate results


  • Kennedy won by 118,574 popular votes, 303 electoral votes

  • New Frontier: called upon the American people for sacrifices to achieve their potential greatness in his inaugural speech

Cold War


  • More conciliatory approach : Proposal of Peace Corps (US skills to underdeveloped countries)

  • Kennedy met with Soviet premier Khrushchev at Vienna on June 1961

  • Khrushchev threatened to make treaty with East Germany and cut off western access to Berlin

  • Soviets started to construct the Berlin Wall in August 1961 to keep people in East Germany

Flexible Response

  • spread of decolonization : "brushfire wars" and civil revolutions around the world
  • pressures on American foreign policy increased
  • Kennedy implemented the flexible response : variety of military options during times of crisis in order to prevent massive retaliation
  • Increased spending on normal military forces and the special forces


  • Unstable pro- western government in Saigon
  • sharp increase in the number of U.S. Troops in Vietnam

  • encouraged a successful coup against Diem

  • more than 15,000 American troops were in Asia by the time of his assassination

  • led to political disintegration


  • Extended relationship through Alliance for Progress : to help underdeveloped neighboring countries to lessen the economic gap

  • Kennedy trained anti-communist exiles to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs to overthrow communist leader in Cuba ( Fidel Castro ) but was captured and failed

  • Cuban missile crisis : Khrushchev secretly built missile bases in Cuba

  • Caused a naval blockade of Cuba

  • Khrushchev agreed to pull the missiles while America agreed not to invade and rid of the blockade

  • Later revealed that Cuba had operational nuclear weapons that would have been released if attacked

  • Closest world has ever got to what could have been total nuclear war

Civil Rights

  • 70 % of Kennedy's supporters were black

  • Political tensions delayed Kennedy to pass civil rights bills

  • Relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. : led the March on Washington in support

  • Congress was mainly Republican or Southern Democrat, making it hard to pass civil rights bills.

  • created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) to help end racial discrimination in the U.S. government

  • He called for new civil legislation to protect black citizens


  • In Dallas on November 22, 1963

  • mortally wounded in the brains while riding in a motorcade

  • Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby before standing trial.

  • The Warren Commission called to investigate Kennedy's death, found Oswald acted alone to kill Kennedy

  • Conspiracies still lasts today